Ideas & Society eNewsletter for September

Welcome to another Ideas & Society eNewsletter, your taster for some of the highlights from the worlds of Literature, Science, History and Religion at your library.

Library News

Literature

Whatever we think of the smooth, suave, martini-sipping James Bond it is not usually that he was the saviour of Britain, nor that he is a figure of great cultural significance. But in a widely-praised new book, that is exactly how he is portrayed. It shows how he became the hero a depressed post-war country desparately needed, infusing it with new hope and vigour. Author James Winder grew up in Britain during those years, and fell in love with Bond. He writes with great enthusiasm and affection for his subject.

Staying with things British we also feature a new book of poems for Jubilee year by the current Poet Laureate Carol Duffy, approriately entitled “Jubilee lines”, along with new books on Shakespeare and P.G. Wodehouse.

Syndetics book coverP.G. Wodehouse in his own words / edited by Barry Day and Tony Ring.
“An unorthodox biography of “the greatest comic writer ever” (Douglas Adams) and a window into the mind of a brilliant humorist. From the publisher of the acclaimed collector’s Wodehouse editions, P.G. Wodehouse In His Own Words is a sparkling collection of excerpts from the master’s own writings that reveals a wonderfully entertaining gloss on Wodehouse’s own life story.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe man who saved Britain / Simon Winder.
“After victory in World War II, Britain was a relieved but also a profoundly traumatized country. Simon Winder, born into this nation of uncertain identity, fell in love (as many before and since) with the man created as the antidote, a quintessentially British figure of great cultural significance: James Bond. Written with passion, wit and a great deal of personal insight and affection, this book is his wildly amusing attempt to get to grips with Bonds legacy and the difficult decades in which it really mattered.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverHidden Shakespeare : a biography / Nicholas Fogg.
“An intriguing examination of the influences and circumstances that made Shakespeare the genius that he was. Provides answers to the many questions surrounding Shakespeare’s life. On 26 April 1564, William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon. He would go on to be the greatest writer who ever lived. In Hidden Shakespeare, Nicholas Fogg explores Shakespeare’s life, from his family background and education in Stratford, through his career in London, to 1616, when he finally shuffled off this mortal coil. Fogg examines the circumstances and stories surrounding Shakespeare, providing reasoned answers to the many questions. Did he leave school at the age of thirteen? Did he have an arranged marriage? Why did he leave Stratford to emerge as a star of the London stage? What impact did his life and the period in which he lived have on his work? William Shakespeare’s talent was the result of a fortuitous combination of environment, epoch and genius. This fascinating new book draws these threads together to provide a more complete impression of the man and his works.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJubilee lines : 60 poets for 60 years / edited by Carol Ann Duffy.
“To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy brings together a dazzling array of contemporary poets (sixty in fact) to write about each of the of the sixty years of Her Majesty’s reign. Celebrated writers as Simon Armitage, Gillian Clarke, Wendy Cope, Geoffrey Hill, Jackie Kay, Michael Longley, Andrew Motion, Don Paterson and Jo Shapcott, alongside some of the newest young talent around – address a moment or event from their chosen year, be it of personal or political significance or both. Through a series of specially commissioned poems, Jubilee Lines offers a unique portrayal of the country and times in which we have lived since 1952, culminating in an essential portrait of today: the way we speak, the way we chronicle, the way we love and fight, the way we honour and remember. Brilliantly introduced and edited by Carol Ann Duffy, Jubilee Lines is an unforgettable commemoration: not only a monarch’s reign but of a way of living for generations of her peoples.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

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Popular Non-Fiction

This month’s set of popular non-fiction books have a focus on what makes us human, questions of ethics, examinations of our interactions with others and more.

Syndetics book coverWhat money can’t buy : the moral limits of markets / Michael Sandel.What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets
“Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we put a price on human life to decide how much pollution to allow? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to forprofit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay? Michael J. Sandel takes up one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Isn{u2019}t there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don{u2019}t belong? What are the moral limits of markets?” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverEcoMind : changing the way we think, to create the world we want / Frances Moore Lappé.
“In her eighteenth book, the paradigm-altering Lappe asks why we’ve failed to effectively address environmental problems. Delving into neuroscience, anthropology, and history, and sharing her own extensive field experiences, she argues that perception is key. She surgically disassembles seven thought traps, or discouraging environmentalist messages that arouse guilt, fear, and despair instead of a sense of mission. On the positive side, she presents fascinating interpretations of six human traits we can count on, including cooperation, empathy, fairness, creativity, and the fact that we are doers.” – (adapted from Booklist summary)

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Religion & Beliefs

This month’s selections evidence that we live in a world of diverse paths, from science to postmodernism, psychology to politics to the parables of Jesus.

Syndetics book coverThe righteous mind : why good people are divided by politics and religion, by Jonathan Haidt.
Dismissing the notion that the human mind is fundamentally rational, Haidt briskly guides the reader through decades of psychology research in order to demonstrate that emotion and intuition determine our judgments, while reasoning is created only later to justify these judgments (a la Hume). …. Blending lucid explanations of landmark studies in psychology and sociology with light personal anecdotes, Haidt has produced an imminently readable book about the complexities of moral psychology and the human fixation with righteousness. (drawn from Publishers’ Weekly, courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe power of parable : how fiction by Jesus became fiction about Jesus, by John Dominic Crossan.
“Through an exploration of the literary genre popular in the ancient world, distinguished Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan dissects the versions we read in the Gospels to get back to what Jesus really intended to teach. …By unlocking the meaning and purposes of the Gospel’s parables, we can arrive at a better portrait of this enigmatic and charismatic Jewish figure who transformed his world and the next two thousand years of history”– (drawn from the publisher’s description)

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History

Dickens, Austen, Nixon. Sound like an odd mixture? Well, they’re all in our picks of the recent history books this month. Plus a couple of Kiwi themed histories and the wise words of the world’s oldest living Holocaust survivor. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverA guide to Dickens’ London / Daniel Tyler.
“To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, a generously illustrated guide to the city that was perhaps the greatest of his characters. From Newgate Prison to Covent Garden and from his childhood home in Camden to his place of burial in Westminster Abbey, this guide traces the influence of the capital on the life and work of one of Britain’s best-loved and well-known authors. Featuring more than 40 sites, places of worship and of business, streets and bridges, this comprehensive companion not only locates and illustrates locations from works such as Great Expectations and Little Dorrit but demonstrates how the architecture and landscape of the city influenced Dickens’ work throughout his life. Each site is illustrated with substantial quotations from Dickens’ own writing about the city he loved.” (Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverAll roads lead to Austen : a yearlong journey with Jane / Amy Elizabeth Smith ; illustrations by Lucia Mancilla Prieto.
“In this humorous memoir, devoted Austen fan Smith, a writing and literature teacher, sets out to discover whether Austen’s magic translates for readers in six Latin American countries (Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina), where she organizes book clubs to discuss Spanish translations of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. Though Smith continuously calls attention to her limited Spanish language skills, she skillfully highlights how and why certain Spanish words are apt for describing Austen’s world and characters. Austen’s work provides a touchstone for surprising discussions about class, gender, and race, as well as history and literature. Smith’s account reads like an educational travel blog, full of colorful characters, overviews of the history and the traditions of each culture, as well as reflections on her own preconceived assumptions and stereotypes. This enjoyable book should appeal to fans of literature and travel, especially those interested in Latin America.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverWatergate : the hidden history : Nixon, the Mafia, and the CIA / Lamar Waldron.
“One vast conspiracy begets another in this meticulous but unconvincing theory of the Watergate scandal. Historian Waldron argues that Vice President Richard Nixon was the “driving force” behind joint CIA-Mafia plots to assassinate Fidel Castro in 1959-1960. Waldrop further says that, as president, Nixon instigated the Watergate break-ins, undertaken by his “Plumbers” unit of old CIA Cuba hands, mainly to find a dossier that he feared could expose those earlier schemes. The author presents an exhaustive, lucid chronicle of Cuba and Watergate machinations and decades of Nixon sleaze: dirty campaign tricks, quid-pro-quo Mafia bribes, burglaries, and other felonies by his White House staff. But Waldron’s central claims about Nixon’s involvement in Castro-assassination plots and his Watergate motives are shaky and based largely on stray, ambiguous comments by marginal figures, “associate”-tracing through degrees of separation, and much rank speculation, all backed by confusing source notes. (Much of the book is a rehash of his similarly massive and implausible Legacy of Fear, which argued that the Mafia assassinated President Kennedy.) Readers will learn a lot from Waldron about America’s Cuba policy and Nixon’s many misdeeds, but the author’s search for a narrow logic behind Nixon’s omnidirectional paranoia and criminality distorts more than it clarifies.” (Publisher Weekly)

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Science

Make sense of the world with the ideas and views contained within these new science picks. The impact of shrimp farming, lessons we can learn from rats, the shapes and patterns of nature, and more …

Syndetics book coverLet them eat shrimp : the tragic disappearance of the rainforests of the sea / Kennedy Warne.
“When a book’s preface is a fictional account of a crab harvester shot to death by rifle-toting guards of a shrimp farm, readers can only guess that they are not going to find stupefying statistics in the pages that follow. Journalist Warne (founding editor, New Zealand Geographic) has produced a personal account of the results of converting mangrove forests into shrimp farms around the world. Telling the stories of people displaced by intensive shrimp farms in Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas, Warne provides evocative tales of economic disparities and disruption of local tradition, but little on the benefits of intensive investment in mangrove forest management. The bibliography lists only 18 references, although it also includes 8 websites that give entry points to a more extensive literature. While inspiring to those interested in participatory journalism, science writing, and the human side of economic development, this book should not be considered a reference work for advanced scientific study or economic analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of intensive shrimp farming. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and undergraduate students. G. C. Stevens formerly, University of New MexicoCopyright American Library Association, used with permission.” – (adapted from CHOICE summary)

Syndetics book coverThe lab rat chronicles : a neuroscientist reveals life lessons from the planet’s most successful mammals / Kelly Lambert.
“What can the common laboratory rat tell us about being human? According to behavioral neuroscientist Kelly Lambert, a whole lot. Her twenty-five-year career conducting experiments that involve rats has led her to a surprising conclusion: Through their adaptive strategies and good habits, these unassuming little animals can teach us some essential lessons about how we, as humans, can lead successful lives. From emotional resilience and a strong work ethic to effective parenting and staying healthy, the lab rat is an unlikely but powerful role model for us all. Book jacket.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShapes : nature’s patterns : a tapestry in three parts / Philip Ball.
“Nature is a self-made tapestry, weaving its patterns in space and time. Patterns make themselves from the interplay of physical and chemical forces on materials living and non-living. The result is an ever-changing, kaleidoscopic array of forms. In this, the first of three books exploring nature’s patterns, Philip Ball describes patterns of shape and makes us look at the world with fresh eyes, seeing order and form in everything from crystals and chemical reactions, to butterfly wings, leopard skins, and even entire ecosystems. Ball’s exploration of shapes ranges over all the sciences and links with art and design, taking in the exquisite architecture of coccoliths alongside the stability of bubble rafts.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Classical music picks

These Classical music picks highlight one-act operas, some young singing talent, and some Kiwi singing talent. Plenty to read and listen to this month!

Books

Syndetics book coverVerdi and/or Wagner : two men, two worlds, two centuries / Peter Conrad
“This is the first book to compare these two composers and cultural heroes, both of whom were born in 1813 and achieved huge national and international renown in their lifetimes. Yet not only did they never meet, but the differences between them—in music, culture, environment, significance, and legacy—were profound.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverI heard you singing : my life with Ramon Opie / Corinne Bridge-Opie ; foreword by Donald Munro
“I Heard You Singing is the story of two New Zealand singers, Corinne Bridge and Ramon Opie, and their efforts to forge professional careers in a country which generally respects its sports stars far more than anyone in the arts…” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

CDs

Image courtesy of AmazonDream with me / Jackie Evancho
“Produced by David Foster, Jackie Evancho’s Dream With Me fulfills the promise of O Holy Night, Jackie’s major label debut, a seasonal collection which became 2010’s #1 best-selling debut recording with sales exceeding 1 million units. Dream with Me features a repertoire of classical arias and pop classics handpicked to suit Jackie’s angelic voice. Her range is so great that she ably shifts from the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon A Star” to Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.” Other highlights include two extraordinary superstar duets showcasing the young vocalist performing with music legend Barbra Streisand and international phenomenon Susan Boyle.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Image courtesy of AmazonDie Walküre [sound recording] / Wagner
“… The recording’s additional dimension is that the music leaps out from the speakers and into your mind’s eye making Wagner’s mythological world of the Valkyrie into something quite tangible. I had goose bumps from the start to the finish, while listening to the recording, especially ends of act 1 and 2. The rapturous applause at the end of each act and at the conclusion of the opera, says it all. People (including myself) were giving standing ovations all around and all levels of the wonderful concert hall, at the end of each of the 3 sections.” – (adapted from Amazon.com review)

Image courtesy of Amazon11 Kurzopern [sound recording] : the original Electrola one-act operas
“When great masters compose miniature operas, the result is well, masterly. Mozart, Weber, Schubert, Medelssohn, Gluck, Lortzing and D Albert: on-act operas from these famous pens are true gems of music history and of the EMI archives. The Electrola recordings of these 11 short operas (mostly in Singspiel form) were made in the 1970 s, but thanks to their all-star casts, which are nothing short of legendary, they seem as fresh as ever. Now EMI is releasing them in a complete edition for the first time.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Image courtesy of AmazonNeeme Järvi conducts Saint-Saëns [sound recording].
“The Scottish national Orchestra under the baton of maestro Jarvi exhibit with these pieces flexibility, beauty of tone, togetherness and excitement which does not fail to ‘rock and swing’ at the right passages, and does not fail to put the listener in a more ponderous mood in some of the more ‘dreamy-romantic’ moments.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Electronic Fiction

If you’re a regular user of our eLibrary you’ll be pleased to know that we’re adding new titles all the time. Here’s a selection including some of the best from the past month …

1989 / Sam C. Leonhard
“Back in 1989, Chris Quinton made a mistake: He ran from Luke, the man he loved. He’s regretted it ever since—especially because the man in question died more than twenty years ago. One lonely, drunken night, he gets the chance to change the past. Will he take it or run away once again?” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Battles Lost and Won / Beryl Matthews
“1919, London’s East End. Robert Hunter is eagerly awaiting the return of his father from the war. Next door, Ruth Cooper’s family are also preparing to welcome her dad, whose ship was lost at Jutland. After five years of separation and anxiety—and, for Bob, the worry of caring for his frail mother—emotions are running high for both young people. But Alf Hunter, who saw action in the trenches, returns a changed man, and when he takes to drink, Bob must put his own happiness on hold to support his family.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Girl Meets Boy / Ali Smith
“In Girl Meets Boy, Ali Smith reinterprets the Myth of Iphis, the girl who became a boy, as a brilliant hybrid of satire and romantic comedy. Anthea works at Pure, helping men with shaved heads think up brand names for water: call it Affluent, she suggests. Or Main Stream. She is not, truth be told, completely focused. Until she sees the boy up the ladder, spray-painting the company billboard: WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT, she reads. SELLING IT IS MORALLY WRONG. The boy up the ladder, dressed in a kilt and sporran. A bright red tartan; a black waistcoat. Frilly cuffs. He is the most beautiful boy Anthea has ever seen in her life. No, look again. She is the most beautiful boy Anthea has ever seen in her life. ” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Man Who Died Laughing / David Handler
“Down on his luck, a writer takes a ghostwriting job for a troubled comedian. Stewart Hoag’s first novel made him the toast of New York. Everyone in Manhattan wanted to be his friend, and he traveled the cocktail circuit supported by Merilee, his wife, and Lulu, his basset hound. But when writer’s block sunk his second novel, his friends, money, and wife all disappeared. Only Lulu stuck by him. The only opportunity left is ghostwriting—an undignified profession that still beats dental school. His first client is Sonny Day, an aging comic who was the king of slapstick three decades ago. Since he and his partner had a falling out in the late 1950s, Day has grown embittered and poor, until the only thing left for him to do is write a memoir. Hoagy and Lulu fly to Hollywood expecting a few months of sunshine and easy living. Instead they find Day’s corpse, and a murder rap with Hoagy’s name on it.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Busted in Bollywood / Nicola Marsh
“Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else’s. Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiance her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiance. Life is less complicated in New York. Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Uninvited / Liz Jensen
“A seven-year-old girl puts a nail-gun to her grandmother’s neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious? As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger’s Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioural patterns, and an outsider’s fascination with group dynamics. Nothing obvious connects Hesketh’s Southeast Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behaviour of his beloved step-son, Freddy. But when Hesketh’s Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father. Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Raven’s Gift / Don Rearden
“Winner, Alaskan Novel of the Year, 2011. Shifting from contemporary Eskimo village life to a gripping post-apocalyptic nightmare, The Raven’s Gift dares to confront the terrifying possibility of an impending catastrophic loss of human life—and love. Lured north to a Yup’ik village on the Alaskan tundra in search of adventure, John Morgan and his wife Anna can barely contain their excitement. But something is about to go terribly wrong. What happens when an epidemic strikes—and no one comes to help?” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

OverDrive is a digital media platform where library customers can download eBook and audio titles onto Mac or PC and transfer them to portable devices e.g. eReaders (Kobo, Sony Reader). Choose from a growing collection of contemporary fiction, non-fiction, classics, young adult and children’s titles. You can download for free, 24/7, from the comfort of your own home and never have to pay overdues!

New non-fiction in our eBook collection

We have all sorts of non-fiction being added to our eBook collection and here are some of the new addtions. Science, history, food, dream interpretation and more …

90-Day Geisha / Chelsea Haywood
“Millionaires, surgeons, serial killers, CEOs: I light their cigarettes, mix their drinks. We engage in conversation. I am the facilitator of good times. I am a hostess. Step into the surreal world of a Tokyo hostess club and gain an exclusive underground pass through the eyes of author Chelsea Haywood as she explores a way of life unique to the Japanese, experiencing $600 dinners, kabuki theatre, Harajuku shopping sprees and first-class trips to ‘anywhere you want to go’. This is the true story of one girl’s immersion in the world of hostessing, a late-night entertainment for wealthy Japanese men drawn from the traditional institution of the geisha. While the foreign slowly becomes familiar, Chelsea’s initial enthusiasm turns into turmoil as she struggles to maintain both her sanity and her marriage in the face of material excess and relentless temptation.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The A to Z of Dream Interpretation / Pamela Ball
“The most authoritative, comprehensive and up to date book available on dreams and dreaming, The A to Z of Dream Interpretation enables you to tap into a whole new level of knowledge and understanding. Uniquely, each entry within the extensive A to Z section offers three levels of interpretation based on the latest research—spiritual, psychological and everyday. Where appropriate, a fourth interpretation by gender helps you understand more fully the dreams of partners and friends. In addition, this book will help you to see the link between sleep and dreams, the different types of dream and how to deal with them, as well as the people and theories that have shaped dream interpretation and analysis. Written by one of the world’s foremost dream interpreters, The A to Z of Dream Interpretation gives you the opportunity to heal previous trauma, to enhance the way you live and to reach for the best within yourself.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Amanda Ursell’s Baby and Toddler Food Bible: Your Essential Guide to Feeding Your Child for Their First Four Years / Amanda Ursell
“The list of what foods to introduce to your child and when can be daunting, especially in this day and age when everything from food safety to allergy issues dictates certain rules. Written by the UK’s leading nutritionist, Amanda Ursell, while she was caring for her own baby and toddler, everything in this book has been tried and tested by a busy, working mum!” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

And Then Life Happens / Auma Obama
“A moving account about life in two cultures, and Auma Obama’s relationship with her brother, Barack. While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama’s childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings’ shared father. Barack and Auma met for the first time in the 1980s, and they built a lasting relationship which lead to travels together in Kenya, research into their family history and finally Auma’s support for her brother’s political career and eventual bid for the U.S. presidency. Auma spent sixteen years studying and living in Germany, moved to England for love, and gave birth to a daughter there. The tension between her original and chosen worlds and cultures was a constant challenge, and eventually Auma returned to Africa and worked to support young men and women in shaping their futures. In this candid and emotional memoir, Auma shares her own story as well as recollections of and experiences with her famous brother, who says about their first encounter: ‘I hugged her, we looked at each other, and laughed. I knew right then that I loved her.'” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, The West and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War / Stephen R. Platt
“In the early 1850s, during the waning years of the Qing dynasty, word spread of a major revolution brewing in the provinces. The leader of the this movement – who called themselves the Taiping – was Hong Xiuquan, a failed civil servant who claimed to be the son of God and the brother of Jesus Christ. As the revolt grew and battles raged across the empire, all signs pointed to a Taiping victory and to the inauguration of a modern, industrialized and pro-Western china. Soon, however, Britain and the United States threw their support behind the Qing, soon quashing the Taiping and rendering ineffective the years of bloodshed the revolution had endured. In Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom, Stephen Platt recounts the events of the rebellion and its suppression in spellbinding detail. It is an essential and enthralling history of the rise and fall of a movement that, a century and a half ago, might have launched China into the modern world.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Bitten: Unpretentious Recipes From a Food Blogger / Sarah Graham
“Bitten is aimed at twenty- and thirty-somethings (or anyone who is young at heart). Author Sarah Graham believes that anyone can cook delicious, wholesome food, and to that end presents this collection of no-mess-no-fuss recipes, for entertaining family and friends. It is written in a blog-based style that is current, chick and sharp.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

A Brilliant Darkness / Joao Magueijo
“One of the greatest mysteries of twentieth-century science: a tormented genius discovers a key element of atomic fission, then disappears forever.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Democracy Despite Itself: Why a System That Shouldn’t Work at All Works So Well / Danny Oppenheimer and Mike Edwards
“Why democracy is the most effective form of government despite irrational (and sometime oblivious) voters and flawed (and sometimes inept) politicians.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love / Fran Hawthorne
“In this age of social activism, pinpoint marketing, and immediate information, consumers demand everything from the coffee, computer, or toothpaste they buy: an affordable, reliable product manufactured by a company that doesn’t pollute, saves energy, treats its workers well, and doesn’t hurt animals—oh, and that makes them feel cool when they use it. All companies would love to have that kind of reputation, and a handful seem to have achieved it. But do they deserve their haloes? What does it take to become so admired? Can a company make a profit doing so? And how can consumers avoid being tricked by phony marketing? In Ethical Chic, award-winning author Fran Hawthorne takes her investigative-journalism skills–honed from more than two decades as a business journalist—to analyze six favorites: Apple, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, American Apparel, Timberland, and Tom’s of Maine.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

OverDrive is a digital media platform where library customers can download eBook and audio titles onto Mac or PC and transfer them to portable devices e.g. eReaders (Kobo, Sony Reader). Choose from a growing collection of contemporary fiction, non-fiction, classics, young adult and children’s titles. You can download for free, 24/7, from the comfort of your own home and never have to pay overdues!

Try the quick start guide or take a guided tour to get started now.

Musical treats at the Film Festival

nz film festival poster image, used with permissionEvery year when the New Zealand International Film Festival brochure comes out, I immediately flip to the music page. These are always the films that I can’t miss seeing on the big screen, surrounded by big sound. This year I’m particularly pleased with the selection, here are some of my highlights along with catalogue links to the artists …


Shut Up and Play the Hits – LCD Soundsystem (catalogue link)
This is the film I had most hoped to see in the lineup at this year’s festival after seeing the trailer above when it came out a few months back. A document of the last ever LCD Soundsystem show, one of the best bands of the last decade going out at the peak of their powers in front of 18,000 fans. If you’re going to this don’t be shy about dancing in the aisles, I certainly plan to. This film features interview style narration from Chuck Klosterman, who has several books that are well worth reading.


Searching for Sugar Man – Rodriguez (catalogue link)
A great talent that never quite broke through – despite releasing an amazing debut, seriously, check it out – that subsequently slipped off the radar, and the story of his rediscovery. Rodriguez, despite being unknown to most music fans in his native America, enjoyed a cult following in South Africa, where he was bigger than Elvis. This eventually leads us to two South African fans journeying to discover what happened to their idol.


Neil Young Journeys – Neil Young (catalogue link)
Follow Neil Young as he drives through his hometown in Ontario, on his way to perform a show in Toronto. Along the way he revisits old haunts and memories, interspersed with footage of the concert. This one is going to be good.

Hear some of our latest items

We’ve recently added a good mixutre of fiction and non-fiction to our eAudiobook collection. Take a look at what you can listen to!

Non-fiction

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different / Karen Blumenthal and Sean Runnette
“From the start, his path was never predictable. Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college after one semester, and at the age of twenty, created Apple in his parents’ garage with his friend Steve Wozniack. Then came the core and hallmark of his genius—his exacting moderation for perfection, his counterculture life approach, and his level of taste and style that pushed all boundaries. A devoted husband, father, and Buddhist, he battled cancer for over a decade, became the ultimate CEO, and made the world want every product he touched. Critically acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal takes us to the core of this complicated and legendary man while simultaneously exploring the evolution of computers. Framed by Jobs’ inspirational Stanford commencement speech, this is the story of the man who changed our world.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Story of Captain Cook / John Lang and Simon Vance
“Captain James Cook FRS RN (1728-1779) was an English explorer, navigator and cartographer, ultimately rising to the rank of Captain in the Royal Navy. Cook was the first to map Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean during which he achieved the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands as well as the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand. This audio edition includes the full text of John Lang’s biography, plus additional material from Captain Cook’s journals, giving a unique personal perspective on the narrative.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good / Regina Leeds
“From professional organizer Regina Leeds comes the organized way to get organized: a week-by-week plan to forever streamline all aspects of your life.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

A Hare With the Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance / Edmund De Waal and Michael Maloney
“Winner of the 2010 COSTA Biography Award264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: potter Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in the Tokyo apartment of his great uncle Iggie. Later, when Edmund inherited the ‘netsuke’, they unlocked a story far larger than he could ever have imagined…The Ephrussis came from Odessa, and at one time were the largest grain exporters in the world; in the 1870s, Charles Ephrussi was part of a wealthy new generation settling in Paris. Marcel Proust was briefly his secretary and used Charles as the model for the aesthete Swann in Remembrance of Things Past. Charles’s passion was collecting; the netsuke, bought when Japanese objets were all the rage in the salons, were sent as a wedding present to his banker cousin in Vienna.Later, three children – including a young Ignace – would play with the netsuke as history reverberated around them. The Anschluss and Second World War swept the Ephrussis to the brink of oblivion. Almost all that remained of their vast empire was the netsuke collection, smuggled out of the huge Viennese palace (then occupied by Hitler’s theorist on the ‘Jewish Question’), one piece at a time, in the pocket of a loyal maid – and hidden in a straw mattress. In this stunningly original memoir, Edmund de Waal travels the world to stand in the great buildings his forebears once inhabited. He traces the network of a remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. And, in prose as elegant and precise as the netsuke themselves, he tells the story of a unique collection which passed from hand to hand – and which, in a twist of fate, found its way home to Japan.This download edition also features an interview with Edmund De Waal from the Vintage podcast.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Fiction

Nature Girl / Carl Hiaasen
“Honey Santana is determined to set up her own tour business, paddling tourists around the Florida Everglades in ocean kayaks. Theresult is a kayaking trip from hell, and an unplanned overnight stay on Dismal Key – one of the Everglades’ islands.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Unlocked: A Love Story / Karen Kingsbury
“Before You Take a Stand … You Got to Take a Chance. Holden Harris is an eighteen-year-old locked in a prison of autism. Despite his quiet ways and quirky behaviors, Holden is very happy and socially normal —on the inside, in a private world all his own. In reality, he is bullied at school by kids who only see that he is very different. Ella Reynolds is part of the ‘in’ crowd. A cheerleader and star of the high school drama production, her life seems perfect. When she catches Holden listening to her rehearse for the school play, she is drawn to him … the way he is drawn to the music. Then, Ella makes a dramatic discovery —she and Holden were best friends as children. Frustrated by the way Holden is bullied, and horrified at the indifference of her peers, Ella decides to take a stand against the most privileged and popular kids at school. Including her boyfriend, Jake. Ella believes miracles can happen in the unlikeliest places, and that just maybe an entire community might celebrate from the sidelines. But will Holden’s praying mother and the efforts of Ella and a cast of theater kids be enough to unlock the prison that contains Holden? This time, friendship, faith, and the power of a song must be strong enough to open the doors to the miracle Holden needs.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Circle Of Friends / Maeve Binchy
“Big, soft-featured Benny, an adored only child, and Eve, the poor, birdlike orphan brought up by nuns, are best friends in the small Irish town of Knockglen. On their first day at University College, Dublin, a fatal road accident brings the pair together with fellow students Nan Mahon and Jack Foley, and new friendships are quickly struck. Jack and Nan introduce Eve and Benny to a life of excitement and sophistication. But beneath their carefree existence trouble is brewing for the circle of friends. Warmth and laughter are interwoven with sadness in this compassionate and absorbing tale of friends whose lives, over a period of ten years, become entwined in a bizarre triangle.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Frozen Tracks / Ake Edwardson
“It’s autumn in Gothenburg and an anxious mother calls the police; her little boy was lured into a car by a man offering sweets. The child is returned unharmed but then the same thing happens with a little girl, and then another. Each child attends a different nursery, and each parent contacts a different police station, so, at first, no connection is established between the incidents and the reports are filed and forgotten. Meanwhile DCI Winter is investigating a series of random attacks on strangely uncooperative university students, but when a a four-year-old boy is abducted and found injured, the forgotten files resurface and a link between the stories becomes apparent. As Gothenburg prepares for Christmas, Winter is in a race against time to prevent a horrific catastrophe.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

OverDrive is a digital media platform where library customers can download eBook and audio titles onto Mac or PC and transfer them to portable devices e.g. eReaders (Kobo, Sony Reader). Choose from a growing collection of contemporary fiction, non-fiction, classics, young adult and children’s titles. You can download for free, 24/7, from the comfort of your own home and never have to pay overdues!

Try the quick start guide or take a guided tour to get started now.

Fiction for your eReader

Take advantage of the new, three week loan period for eBooks by diving into some of the new fiction added to our eLibrary. It’s a fairly mysterious bunch this month, but it isn’t all grisly, there are some Christmas themed short stories from Maeve Binchy too.

Angel Fire / Lisa Unger
“The childhood murder of Lydia Strong’s mother has turned her into a woman obsessed with bringing brutal killers to justice. The reclusive, bestselling true-crime writer and investigative consultant has made a life out of chasing monsters. And her powerful intuitions rarely fail her. When three adults–loners, drifters–go missing, no one seems to notice except for Lydia. Enlisting the help of her friend, former FBI agent Jeffrey Mark, Lydia starts an investigation of her own. But when someone raises the stakes and goes after Lydia–just as fifteen years ago when she put the FBI on the trail of her mother’s killer–the real hunt begins.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Dead Hand of History: DCI Monika Paniatowski Series, Book 1 / Sally Spencer
“The first in a new series featuring Charlie Woodend’s protege, DCI Monika Paniatowski – It will be no easy task to fill DCI Charlie Woodend’s shoes, the newly-promoted Monika Paniatowski tells herself, but, given a little time, she thinks she can grow into them. Yet, with the discovery of a severed hand, time is the one thing she does not have. When her colleagues prove untrustworthy, the urge to call Woodend for help becomes almost irresistible …” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Dragon Man / Garry Disher
“That first one, last week, she hadn’t been a challenge at all. Drunk, half-drugged, hitchhiking, she’d been too easy. At least he’d got to use his head a little tonight. His headlights probed the darkness as he carried her away, high above the rottenness that was always there under the light of the sun. Summer on the Peninsula. The heat’s ramping up, the usual holiday madness building. D.I. Hal Challis is already recycling his shower water and starting to dread Christmas. But this year there’s something more. Women abducted and murdered on the Old Highway, a pall of fear over the scorched paddocks. The media are demanding answers-and Challis’s sleepy beat is set to explode. An intelligent, atmospheric police procedural…Fans of such gritty yet cerebral crime novelists such as Ian Rankin and Jack Harvey should be well pleased.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)

Cherry Cheesecake Murder / Joanne Fluke
“Hannah Swensen and her bakery, The Cookie Jar, bask in the glow of Hollywood glamour when Main Street becomes a movie set. And although tensions simmer as the cameras roll, no one expects the action to turn deadly—until it’s too late…” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

This Year It Will Be Different / Maeve Binchy
“A charming collection of Maeve Binchy’s much-loved Christmas stories, featuring new delights and old favourites. Aboard a plane bound for Australia, two strangers find themselves confessing their fears and laughing each other into courage; Nick and Janet meet at the Sydney Fish Markets . . . everything seems perfect, what could go wrong?; and Ethel is assured by her family that this year the usual massive Christmas organisation won’t be left entirely up to her, that this year it will be different. This charming collection of Maeve Binchy’s much-loved Christmas stories features new delights and old favourites. Warm, humorous, sad and happy, these tales, set in Australia and around the world, show Maeve Binchy weaving her storytelling magic. With wisdom and generosity, she draws us into the lives of families, friends, lovers and the lonely. After reading This Year it will be Different, you’ll want to visit them all over again.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Guppies for Tea / Marika Cobbold
“Amelia Lindsey is an exceptional young woman. She shares her days between a grandmother whom she loves, a mother whom she tolerates with patient fortitude, and Gerald. They had fallen in love with Amelia two years earlier, when he was in his artistic phase, and had begged her to move in with him. Now (no longer in his artistic phase) he is showing signs of irritation. And suddenly Selma, the talented and much-beloved grandmother, has become old. As life – and Gerald – begins to collapse all round Amelia, she is determined that the one person who will not fade is Selma. Fighting a one-woman battle against Cherryfield retirement home, Gerald’s defection and her mother’s obsession with germs, Amelia finds herself capable of plots, diversions, and friendships she has never imagined before.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Double-Barrel / Nicolas Freeling
“Two women had committed suicide, and a third had had to be led gently away by men in white coats. There had been an outbreak of anonymous letters. . .That was not so very much. But there was something more, intangible but perceptible. And Inspector Van der Valk changes his mind about the routine nature of his mission to Drente. What lies behind the small-town immoralities, eaves-dropping, hysteria? Could he by chance have stumbled upon one of the century’s most wanted criminals?” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

OverDrive is a digital media platform where library customers can download eBook and audio titles onto Mac or PC and transfer them to portable devices e.g. eReaders (Kobo, Sony Reader). Choose from a growing collection of contemporary fiction, non-fiction, classics, young adult and children’s titles. You can download for free, 24/7, from the comfort of your own home and never have to pay overdues!

Try the quick start guide or take a guided tour to get started now.

Community and Languages eNewsletter for July

Welcome to another Community and Languages eNewsletter, time to discover what’s new in our collection. This month we’re very excited about the wide range of foreign language books that have appeared on the shelves, and some of the delicious looking cookbooks. Enjoy!

Library News

New Zealand

Here is a selection of recent arrivals in the New Zealand Collection, this month there is a wide variety of topics.

Syndetics book coverPiano forte : stories and soundscapes from colonial New Zealand / Kirstine Moffat.
“This book focuses on the era in which the piano became of central significance in the private, social and cultural lives of many New Zealanders. The stories begin in 1827, with the arrival of what was probably the first piano to be brought to New Zealand, and end in 1930. Initially, a European musical instrument that introduced Maori to a new sound world and which provided European settlers with a reassuring sense of ‘home’.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFood@home / Christine Dann.
“A journey through the new ‘foodways’ that are evolving in New Zealand. Author/gardener/cook Christine Dann looks at the ways in which food production, distribution, preparation and service are being brought back home to produce superior food with minimal environmental impact. Christine’s journey starts with the rediscovery of home food gardening traditions of both Maori and Pakeha, and ends at the dining table where a delicious healthy feast is being served.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWorkers in the margins : union radicals in post-war New Zealand / Cybèle Locke.
“Marginalised workers of the late twentieth century were those last hired in times of plenty and first fired in times of recession. Often women, Māori, or people from the Pacific, they were frequently unemployed, and marginalised within the union movement as well as the labour force. The world of trade unions and employment conflicts, such as the 1951 waterfront lockout, was vigorous and challenging. As free market policies deregulated the labour market and splintered the union movement toward the end of the century, Te Roopu Rawakore o Aotearoa, the national unemployment and beneficiaries’ movement, gave a new voice to workers in the margins” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

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DVDs

New DVDs for June include the adaptation of Andrea Levy’s ‘Small Island’; the return of ‘The Boys’ in ‘Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business’; the second season of ‘Sherlock’; Western-crime series ‘Justified’ based on the work of Elmore Leonard; ‘Call The Midwife’ from the memoirs of Jennifer Worth; & the award winning ‘Tyrannosaur’…

Cover imageTyrannosaur.
“A powerful award-winning drama written and directed by Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes), Tyrannosaur follows the story of two people brought together by circumstance. Joseph (Peter Mullan, Neds) is an unemployed widower, drinker, and a man stifled by his own volatile temperament and furious anger. Hannah (Olivia Colman, Hot Fuzz) is a Christian worker at a charity shop, a respectable woman who appears wholesome and happy. When the pair are brought together, Hannah appears to be Joseph’s potential saviour, someone who can temper his fury and offer him warmth, kindness and acceptance. As their story develops Hannah’s own secrets are revealed–her relationship with husband James (Eddie Marsan, Sherlock Holmes) is violent and abusive–and as events spiral out of control, Joseph becomes her source of comfort…” – (adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Cover imageSherlock. Complete series two.
“This sophomore season exceeds the pleasures and promise of the Emmy-nominated first season with three feature-length mysteries that fully test Holmes’s mettle and cunning, and shake his very high self-regard. The first and third episodes do full justice to two figures who loom large in the Holmes canon. The first is Irene Adler (Lara Pulver), a.k.a. “the Woman,” in “A Scandal in Belgravia,” a ripping and naughty yarn involving a high-class dominatrix and some scandalous royal photos. The second, of course, is Moriarty (an Emmy-worthy Andrew Scott) in “The Reichenbach Fall,” who hatches a mad scheme to bring about Holmes’s ruination. The middle mystery is perhaps Holmes’s best-known, “The Hounds of Baskerville,” a psychological thriller that lacks the other two’s worthy central adversaries, although Holmes’s rare moment of bafflement sets the stage for the seemingly game-changing finale that has Dark Knight echoes. Sherlock’s high concept–transplanting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s master consulting detective to 21st-century London–is brilliantly realized, but at the heart of this series’ success is the casting and chemistry between Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson, who chronicles their adventures in–what else–a blog. While some may make innuendo about the nature of their relationship, it is their friendship that unfolds by degrees that holds the most fascination. “I don’t have friends,” Holmes confesses to Watson in one of his rare quiet and less prickly moments. “I have one.”…” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Cover imageJustified. The complete first season.
“Prolific and much-respected author Elmore Leonard’s novels have fared poorly when they’ve been adapted to the small screen…but the Western-cum-police-drama Justified breaks the losing streak thanks to the tightly wound performance of star Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) and solid scripting and direction. Olyphant’s Marshal Raylan Givens, whom readers met in the novels Pronto and Riding the Rap (as well as the short “Fire in the Hole,” which serves as the basis for the pilot episode), is a man of few words and deadly aim who is sent back to his hometown of Harlan County, Kentucky, after shooting first and asking questions later with an oily gangster. Once ensconced in the coal belt, Givens runs afoul of childhood friend Boyd Crowder (the terrific Walton Goggins from The Shield), who’s gone from mining to white supremacy and murder. Also competing for Givens’s attention are local girl Ava (Joelle Carter), whose crush on the marshal doesn’t quite obscure the fact that she’s just murdered her husband, and his father, Arlo (the always-solid character actor Raymond J. Barry), whose criminal career is a millstone around Givens’s neck…” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

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Community Languages

Here is a collection of our latest additions in Dutch, Italian and Spanish books, featuring numerous highly acclaimed works including fiction, war romances and biographies. A perfect way to brush up your foreign language skills and have fun!

Il filo che brucia / Jeffrey Deaver ; [traduzione di Maria Baiocchi e Anna Tagliavini].
“Lincoln Rhyme is back, on the trail of a killer whose weapon of choice cripples New York City with fear. The weapon is invisible and omnipresent. Without it, modern society grinds to a halt. The killer harnesses and steers huge arc flashes with voltage so high, and heat so searing, that steel melts and his victims are set afire.
Rhyme, a world-class forensic criminologist known for his successful apprehension of the most devious criminals, is immediately tapped for the investigation.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Joop den Uyl, 1919-1987 : dromer en doordouwer / Anet Bleich.
“Anet Bleich presents a subtle, colourful portrait of Joop den Uyl, the strict young idealist who became the symbol of the sixties in the Netherlands. A socialist politician and a controversial figure, who evoked both admiration and aversion. He was a dedicated father, albeit mostly absent from his home. He loved debating and literature and was tireless and tiresome. But above all he was a democrat close to his people. These and other aspects are described in the first great and insightful biography of Joop den Uyl who was Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1973 to 1977.” – (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverEn llamas / Suzanne Collins ; traducción de Pilar Ramírez Tello.
“There are only a few books that have such an impact as this second book of “The Hunger Games” series. The author used elements of the first book and has improved it by telling an even stronger story, increasing Katniss and Peeta’s problems. The characters are overwhelming and the plot is intriguing.
It is a wonderful read.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

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Cooking

You might notice that there is a distinct emphasis on New Zealand cook books in this selection. All the recipes in these books look tempting enough that you’d want to try them again and again.

Syndetics book coverGrace & Flavour : Old New Zealand Recipes for Modern Cooks / Barbara Keen ; recipe photographs by Simon Young.
“A beautiful retro look cookbook, Grace and Flavour is a collection of classic recipes from an assortment of New Zealand cookbooks published between 1883 and 1940. Each recipe is presented in its original form, followed by a modern version which is easily accessible to today s cooks….The recipes are complemented with images of the dishes and styled with nostalgic table and kitchenware.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJax Cooks : Great Food for Family and Friends / Jax Hamilton ; photographs, David Baird.
“This cookbook, Jax’s first, is a real treat and a much-awaited debut. Jax Cooks is a fabulous collection of 90 recipes woven around Jax’s life and experiences; her story told in food. These recipes will appeal to those who already love her style and to those who want to try real, tasty, easy-to-prepare food. Jax’d up, of course!” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPipi : The Cookbook / recipes by Alexandra Tylee ; photography by Brian Culy.
“Pipi is a magical cafe in Havelock North that’s always packed with people enjoying its beautiful rustic ambience and its delicious homely food. The Pipi philosophy is about family, fun, nurturing, good simple seasonal food, and love. These are all universal things, but Pipi gives them the New Zealand slant….This is a book to treasure and to use and to give away to others. It’s truly food from the heart.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Crafts

Take a look at this gorgeous collection of new craft books and get inspired with lots of ideas on how to kick-start your winter projects. Experience the contemporary culture of craft with vibrant knitting and crochet designs for yourself, family and home. Celebrate winter with the most amazing wraparounds and hats – they’ll certainly turn heads. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book coverKnit Noro accessories : 30 colorful little knits / [senior editor, Michelle Bredeson].
“How cool would it be to commission serious knitwear creators to design color bursts of accessories? The answer comes from the manufacturer of Noro, a high-end Japanese yarn brand known for its ever-fascinating combinations of hues. In this book, the follow-up to the first Knit Noro (2011) book, 30 accessories or smalls, consuming only a few skeins of expensive yarn dominate. Patterns and techniques are contemporary, whether brioche or entrelac, felted or cabled, as are the actual wearables. A shrug becomes kimono-like, and a dog’s sweater is made flexible with the addition of a drawstring. Color photographs mesmerize; instructions and charts, wherever necessary are crystal clear to experienced knitters. Unfortunately, this isn’t geared to beginners (unless a pro is nearby); these 30 projects demand the click-clack of well-honed needles.” – (adapted from Booklist summary)

Syndetics book coverCustom knits accessories : unleash your inner designer with improvisational techniques for hats, scarves, gloves, socks, and more / Wendy Bernard ; photographs by Joe Budd ; photostyling by Mark Auria.
“This is the third book in the Custom Knits series by acclaimed designer Wendy Bernard. While the first two books focused on techniques for customizing top-down sweaters, this one showcases the ever-popular quick-knits: hats, scarves, gloves, mitts, socks, and more. Each of Bernard’s 25 sassy-chic patterns offers specific ideas for customization, from switching out yarns to personalizing fit and style details and fun, glamorous photographs show off the finished pieces. Also included are formulas for knitting all types of accessories without a pattern, using a single body measurement as a starting point. In true Custom Knits style, Bernard encourages knitters to unleash their inner designer every step of the way.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverBabes in the wool : how to knit beautiful fashion dolls, clothes &; accessories / Fiona McDonald.
“This little gem is the best so far on the subject of knitted dolls. While most publications offer drab and unattractive patterns to knit the same old dolls again and again, this book takes the knitted doll subject to a whole new level. Fiona MacDonald’s babes truly are fashionistas! You can choose from 3 types of dolls to knit with 9 different examples offered in the book. Each one is with her own contemporary and fun wardrobe which you can mix and match as you please. As long as you can knit, purl, increase and decrease, you will be able to knit as many dolls as you like with accompanying garments such as bikinis, skirts, tops, sweaters, scarves, pants, slippers and ballet shoes, coats, hats and handbags.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

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People and Places eNewsletter for July

Reading can take you all over the world, then right back home again. That’s the theme this month in the People and Places eNewsletter. Plenty to dip into, as always.

Library News

Biography

It would be difficult to imagine a more horrible fate than that suffered by beautiful young Briton Katie Piper, she was brutally raped and burned with acid by a jealous boyfriend. Yet she survived and her energy, courage and positive mental attitude have been an inspiration to many thousands who are suffering from life’s hardships. She is already very well-known – several younger members of staff here recognised her immediately on seeing the book, as she has been the subject of numerous articles and television interviews. It is a very inspiring book and one which will help very many people. We also have another book by Katie Piper in the library, Beautiful : a beautiful girl, an evil man, one inspiring true story of courage. If biographies are your thing, we’ve added plenty more besides.

Syndetics book coverWinston Churchill : portrait of an unquiet mind / Andrew Norman.
“Winston Churchill was an extraordinary person – a politician, a statesman, a man of letters and a soldier but it was for his wartime leadership during the Second World War that he is chiefly remembered. In a study of his life, certain bizarre character traits become discernible. He had excessive energy and required little sleep. His mind would either flit from one idea to another with bewildering speed or focus obsessively on one particular goal. He was impulsive, and his attention was easily drawn to irrelevant or unimportant matters. He enjoyed taking risks almost To The point of self-destruction. He lacked inhibition and was eccentric in the extreme. Yet at other times, when he was afflicted with what he called his ‘Black Dog’, he became depressed, irritable, aggressive, and preoccupied with death and thoughts of suicide.By closely and painstakingly examining the statements of Churchill’s doctor, Of Winston himself, his family, his friends and acquaintances, Dr Norman, As a medical man, has been able to ascertain the true nature of Winston’s disorder. The diagnosis having been made, it is now possible For The very first time, and this will remain secret until the book is published, To Understand The man himself and what made him ‘tick’.” – (adapted from Globalbooksinprint.com summary)

Syndetics book coverYoung Herriot : the early life and times of James Herriot / by John Lewis-Stempel.
‘We had no antibiotics, few drugs. A lot of time was spent pouring things down cows’ throats. The whole thing added up to a lot of laughs. There’s more science now, but not so many laughs.’ We all know James Herriot, possibly the most famous vet in the world. But how did a young student named Alf Wight become the man who would charm millions of readers the world over? Young James tells the fascinating story of James Herriot’s formative years at veterinary college. Set in Glasgow in the 1930s – pre-antibiotics, when veterinary practise was, as Herriot wrote, ‘more art than science’ – the book shines a light on his calling to work with animals (which began when he read an article in Meccano Magazine entitled ‘Veterinary Surgery as a Career’), his early friendships and quest for knowledge at Glasgow’s Veterinary College and the quest for knowledge at Glasgow’s Veterinary College.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover“Things get better / Katie Piper.
“To look and listen to the extraordinary Katie Piper, it is difficult to comprehend the severe physical and psychological trauma she suffered from a brutal rape and acid attack which left her with deep physical and emotional scars. These terrible events would have crushed most people, but through her incredible courage, bright and positive outlook and sheer determination, Katie has become living proof that no matter what life throws at you, if you work hard and believe – things will get better. Katie’s story alone has proved inspirational to millions of people, and now in this important book she begins to answer the question that everyone wants to know – ‘where did you find the courage?’ Katie shares the key steps and support that led to her emotional recovery so that she can help others in their own lives, whether suffering a breakup or life change or more serious trauma. Through her own stories of emotional recovery and in letters sent to her by others, she acknowledges the pain we have all felt at times, whether physical or psychological, grief or trauma, and shows with spectacular compassion and encouragement that we can all find the strength within to carry on.” – (adapted from Globalbooksinprint.com summary)

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Travel stories & guides

The latest travel books see destinations as diverse as Albania and Antarctica, New England and Naples. After deciding on the destination, pick a hotel from another recent book that profiles the best from across the globe.

Syndetics book coverAlbania : the Bradt travel guide / Gillian Gloyer.Albania
“Albania’s unspoilt mountain scenery, cultural sites and beaches make it increasingly popular. This affectionate guide covers the length and breadth of the country, discovering remote villages and out-of-the-way towns. It features detailed information on wildlife, national parks, hiking routes, beaches, and the main archaeological sites and Byzantine art. 2012 marks the centenary of Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire and is likely to be marked by several major events.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe world’s greatest hotels / [editor, Jennifer Miranda].
“Millions of travelers turn to Travel + Leisure as their source of information and inspiration. Each year, the magazine’s editors distill their coverage into an expertly vetted guide to the most memorable accommodations around the globe.” – (from Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe rough guide to New England / written and researched by Sarah Hull and Stephen Keeling.
“The Rough Guide to New England” is the ultimate travel guide to this compellingly historic region, packed with comprehensive coverage of every attraction. Honest, accurate reviews, detailed practical information, new top 5 lists, insider tips and illuminating photographs throughout will ensure that your visit is a truly memorable one. Discover New England’s highlights with in-depth accounts on everything from apple picking and beachcombing to Yankee cooking and zip lines. Hike the Appalachian Trail, or meander down country roads amid autumn foliage; savour New England’s best clam chowder, regional beer and blueberry pie; spot a lighthouse, or even a whale; and, walk in the footsteps of revolutionaries.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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History

This month’s history recent picks are all about the ladies: a mystery writer touring the world; the women behind the Kennedy political men; an American woman becomes an African King (yes King not Queen!); photographic comparison of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II’s London; and a journalist on the spot during the Libyan uprising. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThe grand tour / Agatha Christie ; edited by Mathew Prichard.
“In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a 10-month voyage around the British Empire with her husband as part of a trade mission to promote the forthcoming British Empire Exhibition. She kept up a detailed weekly correspondence with her mother, describing in detail the exotic places and people she encountered as the mission travelled through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada. Previously unpublished letters are accompanied by hundreds of photos taken on her portable camera as well as some of the original letters, postcards, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia collected by Agatha on her trip. The Grand Tour is a book steeped in history, sure to fascinate anyone interested in the lost world of the 1920s. Coming from the pen of Britain’s biggest literary export and the world’s most widely translated author, it is also a fitting tribute to Agatha Christie and is sure to fascinate her legions of worldwide fans.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverKing Peggy : an American secretary, her royal destiny, and the inspiring story of how she changed an African village / Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman.King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village
“Bartels was a native of Ghana living in the U.S., working as secretary to the Ghanaian embassy, when a relative called to give her startling news. Following the death of her uncle, a village king, the council of elders had determined that she would be his successor. Bartels, who’d come to the U.S. to study and had become a U.S. citizen, hadn’t been home since the death of her mother. But she accepted the daunting prospect with determination and brio. She would rule part-time, traveling between Washington, D.C., and Ghana. Bartels, along with coauthor Herman, chronicles her journey from secretary to king of the poor and isolated village of Otuam, 60 miles from the capital of Accra. She becomes reacquainted with distant relatives and her estranged husband as she juggles responsibilities such as refurbishing the modest palace, repaving roads, and burying her uncle before the ancestors can be offended all on fees collected from fishermen and a secretary’s salary. Balancing cultural differences and sketchy finances, Bartels finds within herself the strength to tackle poverty, tradition, and personal transformation.” – (adapted from Booklist summary)

Syndetics book coverThe queens’ London : the metropolis in the Diamond Jubilee years of Victoria & Elizabeth II / Jon Curry & Hugo Simms.
“In the last years of the nineteenth century, The Queen’s London: A Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Great Metropolis was published. The work, a collection of some of the finest photographs of the capital ever taken, was produced to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of her most excellent Majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India. In 2012, when the eyes of the world will be on London, The Queens’ London brings this story up to date. Pairing these beautifully captured vintage views with 180 images taken from identical vantage points in the London of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, it gives the reader a fascinating perspective on the history behind London’s familiar streets.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

Syndetics book coverZen under fire : a New Zealand woman’s story of love and war in Afghanistan / Marianne Elliott.
“I am about to be left in charge of the office. I’m not sure I am ready for the responsibility, so I double-check with my boss. He reassures me. ‘You’ll be fine, Marianne. As long as no one kills Amanullah Khan, you’ll be fine.’ By midday, Amanullah Khan is dead.” In 2006 Marianne Elliott, a human rights lawyer from New Zealand, is stationed with the UN in Herat. Several months into her new role an important tribal leader is assassinated while she is in charge of the local UN office. She must try to defuse the situation before it leads to widespread bloodshed. ZEN UNDER FIRE is a vivid and deeply personal account of a young woman’s time living and working as a peacekeeper in one of the world’s most notorious battlegrounds. As well as sharing the incredible details of her UN work in and around Herat and the remote province of Ghor, Marianne tells of the shattering effects of this high-stress, high-danger environment on her and her relationships – and how, amid the turmoil, she begins to find her way back to herself.” – (adapted from Global Books In Print summary)

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New Zealand

Here is a selection of recent arrivals in the New Zealand Collection, this month there is a wide variety of topics.

Syndetics book coverPiano forte : stories and soundscapes from colonial New Zealand / Kirstine Moffat.
“This book focuses on the era in which the piano became of central significance in the private, social and cultural lives of many New Zealanders. The stories begin in 1827, with the arrival of what was probably the first piano to be brought to New Zealand, and end in 1930. Initially, a European musical instrument that introduced Maori to a new sound world and which provided European settlers with a reassuring sense of ‘home’.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe occupiers : New Zealand veterans remember post-war Japan / Alison Parr.
“Twelve thousand New Zealand men and women served in the occupation of Japan immediately after the Second World War. This book records memories from those we know as ‘J Force’. The Occupiers explores Kiwi life in the former enemy territory between 1946 and 1948.Veterans recall the horror of witnessing the devastated city of Hiroshima. They describe their culture shock and adjustment to unfamiliar customs. These stories uncover a little-known but fascinating aspect of New Zealand’s post-war experience.” – (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWorkers in the margins : union radicals in post-war New Zealand / Cybèle Locke.
“Marginalised workers of the late twentieth century were those last hired in times of plenty and first fired in times of recession. Often women, Māori, or people from the Pacific, they were frequently unemployed, and marginalised within the union movement as well as the labour force. The world of trade unions and employment conflicts, such as the 1951 waterfront lockout, was vigorous and challenging. As free market policies deregulated the labour market and splintered the union movement toward the end of the century, Te Roopu Rawakore o Aotearoa, the national unemployment and beneficiaries’ movement, gave a new voice to workers in the margins” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

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Music and Movies eNewsletter for July

School holidays are here and they can be an exhausting time for parents. In addition to the holiday activities we’re running (see the Library News section) we’ve got plenty of enterainment to help you unwind at the end of a long day.

Library News

DVDs

New DVDs for June include the adaptation of Andrea Levy’s ‘Small Island’; the return of ‘The Boys’ in ‘Sione’s 2: Unfinished Business’; the second season of ‘Sherlock’; Western-crime series ‘Justified’ based on the work of Elmore Leonard; ‘Call The Midwife’ from the memoirs of Jennifer Worth; & the award winning ‘Tyrannosaur’ and plenty more …

Cover imageSione’s 2: unfinished business.
“Five years ago our heroes the Duckrockers thought they had figured it all out – they had found themselves girlfriends to take to Siones wedding and the future was looking bright…Fast-forward five years and things havent quite gone as the boys might have planned: Albert is now married to Tania and they are living in suburbia, both working in insurance and also trying (unsuccessfully) to have a baby; Sefa and Leilani are still together and now have two kids although despite Sefas proposal, theyre still not married. And while Sefas business is falling apart, Leilani seems to be living life to the full; Stanley is now a trainee Deacon in the Future Church; Michael has moved to Australia but the boys dont hear from him often; and Bolo has thrown in his job with Sefa and taken up work with Sione, Michaels younger brother. Growing up appears to be driving the Duckrockers apart but when theyre confronted with one of lifes unexpected turns and Bolo goes missing, their Minister once again brings them together and sends them on a quest. Their mission: to find Bolo.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Cover imageTyrannosaur.
“A powerful award-winning drama written and directed by Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes), Tyrannosaur follows the story of two people brought together by circumstance. Joseph (Peter Mullan, Neds) is an unemployed widower, drinker, and a man stifled by his own volatile temperament and furious anger. Hannah (Olivia Colman, Hot Fuzz) is a Christian worker at a charity shop, a respectable woman who appears wholesome and happy. When the pair are brought together, Hannah appears to be Joseph’s potential saviour, someone who can temper his fury and offer him warmth, kindness and acceptance. As their story develops Hannah’s own secrets are revealed–her relationship with husband James (Eddie Marsan, Sherlock Holmes) is violent and abusive–and as events spiral out of control, Joseph becomes her source of comfort…” – (adapted from Amazon.co.uk summary)

Cover imageJustified. The complete first season.
“Prolific and much-respected author Elmore Leonard’s novels have fared poorly when they’ve been adapted to the small screen…but the Western-cum-police-drama Justified breaks the losing streak thanks to the tightly wound performance of star Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) and solid scripting and direction. Olyphant’s Marshal Raylan Givens, whom readers met in the novels Pronto and Riding the Rap (as well as the short “Fire in the Hole,” which serves as the basis for the pilot episode), is a man of few words and deadly aim who is sent back to his hometown of Harlan County, Kentucky, after shooting first and asking questions later with an oily gangster. Once ensconced in the coal belt, Givens runs afoul of childhood friend Boyd Crowder (the terrific Walton Goggins from The Shield), who’s gone from mining to white supremacy and murder. Also competing for Givens’s attention are local girl Ava (Joelle Carter), whose crush on the marshal doesn’t quite obscure the fact that she’s just murdered her husband, and his father, Arlo (the always-solid character actor Raymond J. Barry), whose criminal career is a millstone around Givens’s neck…” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

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Film and television books

The new film & television books this month have a distinctly sci-fi bent — with new titles on Star Wars, Star Trek and Doctor Who. Sandwiched around the sci-fi books this month are several titles on the golden boys of film and sirens of the screen — the the first two volumes in a four volume series entitled “Sexbombs”. Read for profiles of Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Marlene Dietrich, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant and more. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverA brief guide to Star Trek / Brian J. Robb.
“This essential guide will cover all prominent actors including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and Patrick Stewart and will explore the connection between Star Trek and the US cold war foreign policy, why much of the far-out science from the show is now at the forefront of research, why linguists are now studying Klingon, and much more.” (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverU.S.S. Enterprise owners’ workshop manual : 2151 onwards (NX-01, NCC-1701, NCC-1701-A to NCC-1701-E) / Ben Robinson and Marcus Riley ; technical consultant, Michael Okuda.
“The U.S.S. Enterprise is without doubt the most famous starship in history. The vessels that have carried the name have saved the galaxy countless times and her captains, including Archer, Kirk, and Picard, have been legendary. This Haynes Manual provides in-depth information about these extraordinary ships, from the Enterprise NX-01, to Captain Kirk’s Enterprise NCC-1701 and Captain Picard’s Enterprise NCC-1701-D including histories of each vessel, technical information about their systems, and discussions of key technologies such as transporters and warp-speed travel.” (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverStar Wars : the essential guide to warfare / Jason Fry with Paul R. Urquhart ; illustrations by Drew Baker … [et. al].
“Like many a great epic, Star Wars is rooted in a rich history of armed conflict. Now, for the first time, the facts, figures, and fascinating backstories of major clashes and combatants in the vast Star Wars universe have been documented in one fully illustrated volume. Encompassing all of the Star Wars media, including the legendary films, the hit TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the bestselling books, comics, and videogames, and packed with original full-color artwork, Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare is a conquering achievement.” (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverWho is the doctor : the unofficial guide to Doctor Who : the new series / Graeme Burk & Robert Smith?.
“Penned by the authors of the famed sci-fi series’ fanzine collections, this entertaining combination of episode guides and essays is a must-have for all Doctor Who aficionados. The handbook explores all facets of the six most recent seasons, providing an essential companion for the show’s avid fans and casual viewers alike. The history of everything related to Doctor Who is touched upon, from Daleks and Cybermen to the eight Classic Series Doctors.” (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

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Popular Music

Some new CDs at Wellington City Libraries include the new Black Seeds, ‘Dust & Dirt’; the return of Miami soul singer Betty Wright after 10 years; the soundtrack to the popular HBO series ‘Treme’; new indie band ‘Django Django’; & Time to go’ the new Flying Nun compilation on the 80’s Southern psychedelic movement…

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Classical Music

Are you afraid to ask experts questions about Classical Music, despite wanting to know things about it? Save yourself the stress by reading a very handy book that compiles questions asked by Classical FM listeners. Also included this month are a few of the CDs recently added to our ever expanding collection of Classical recordings.

Books

Syndetics book coverEverything you ever wanted to know about classical music but were too afraid to ask / Darren Henley and Sam Jackson.
“Just what exactly is classical music …and why should it be a part of everyone’s life? Who are the big names behind the classical hits …and which are the best recordings of their music? What are you supposed to wear to a classical concert …and when on earth are you supposed to applaud? ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Classical Music …But Were Too Afraid to Ask’ answers these questions and much more. In the pages of this book, Darren Henley and Sam Jackson set out to make the classical world not only accessible, but also disarmingly simple and utterly engrossing, as they share their passion for the greatest music ever written. Celebrating 20 years of the world’s most successful classical music radio station, this book lifts the lid on the burning questions that Classic FM’s listeners have most often asked over the past two decades. Three sections steer you through the terminology and etiquette of classical music, open the fascinating history of the genre and its key figures over the last 1,000 years, and provide a detailed reference guide. Since its transmitters were first switched on in 1992, the team behind Classic FM has believed that classical music can and should be a part of everyone’s life, no matter who they are or where they live. So, whether you are a long-time listener or completely new to the genre this book equips you to begin your own personal journey of discovery into the world’s greatest music.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

CDs

Poèmes [sound recording] / Ravel, Messiaen, Dutilleux.
“As the sensual centrepiece of an album of 20th century French vocal masterpieces, Renée Fleming makes her first-ever recording of Ravel’s ravishing Shéhérazade. Complementing Shéhérazade is Olivier Messiaen’s collection of love songs to his young wife, the Poemes pour Mi – a tour de force of voluptuous vocalism. A trio of major works is completed by one written for Renée Fleming by the doyen of French composers, Henri Dutilleux – his dramatic Le Temps l’horloge. The album is completed by two earlier songs by Dutilleux, specially-orchestrated for this album and recorded in the presence of the composer.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Cantatas [sound recording] / Bach.
“Andreas Scholl follows up his much-praised Purcell collection, ‘O Solitude’, with a project perfectly matched to his artistry and musical heritage. Andreas Scholl first sang the music of J. S. Bach as a boy chorister. Now the leading countertenor of our time returns to his musical roots with his own selection of arias from Bach’s cantatas – including one of the best-loved of all Bach’s vocal works, “Ich habe genug.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

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